Italian Food and Flavours

The Piano Grande in Flower : La Fiorita

The Piano Grande in Flower : La Fiorita

The Piano Grande, just over the border to Umbria and high up in the beautiful Sibilline Mountains becomes a sea of colour in July. La Fiorita is a spectacular event when wild flowers mixed in with the blue flowers of the lentils grown there create a Monet like view. Also the bright red poppies growing underneath the borgo of Castellucio attract many selfie takers and photographers! However growing the famous Castellucio lentils is serious business and the local farmers are maybe a little fed up with all the Fiorita visitors tramping across their fields to take selfies. 

My family and I visit the Piano Grande a few times each year. The landscape 1,500 m high, is so different to the lowlands of le Marche with its agriculture and rolling hills but reachable in an hour or so. The air feels glorious up there and the plain is so huge that my children love to run across the plain. On one of the hill sides is a perfect Italy shape made from trees!

It is possible to paraglide across and this is definitely on our to do list. Castellucio is worth a visit but do walk up into the old town as the immediate car park that you come across is not very inviting.

There are some good little trattoria to eat typical Umbrian dishes. We enjoyed a platter of salumi and cheeses, followed by delicious fresh ricotta with honey and puffed faro topping.  You must buy some dried lentils as they are definitely some of the finest you can buy. They are the tastiest little brown lentils and I use them in cooking often – very small and require no pre soaking and so good for you!

Piano Grande in Flower : La Fiorita